Destruction - _The Antichrist_
(Nuclear Blast, 2001)
by: Matthias Noll (
When reviewing _All Hell Breaks Loose_ [CoC #48], Destruction's reunion record, I was complaining that "less technicality would have resulted in more power and ultimately better, more cohesive songs." A slightly more focussed, more to-the-point approach is the main difference between _AHBL_ and _The Antichrist_. The best example may be the aptly named opener "Thrash Till Death", which uses a simple but very effective riff almost all the way through. Besides this minor improvement, Destruction have of course not changed their formula and still play their fairly intricate, break-laden, unmelodic version of Teutonic thrash metal. What still makes them unique is Mike's typical flowing riffing and Schmier's gruff but somewhat powerless trademark vocals. Although Mike's ever-busy guitar work has its moments, the songs are still too long and sadly not that different from each other. Even after the tenth listen, the main distinction between individual tracks is the chorus, which consists of pretentious songtitles ("Dictators of Cruelty", "Bullets From Hell") which always and predictably get shouted over and over again. Sometimes, _The Antichrist_ makes me go "wow, these guys are quite good for their age", but ultimately _The Antichrist_ is lacking something: on first listen it sounds heavy and aggressive, but over the course of 40+ minutes it starts to become boring and suffers from a lack of really interesting songs. Substract the "the legendary Destruction" bonus and you'll have something which pretends to go for the throat but never manages to make the kill. In my eyes, neither _The Antichrist_ nor the new Kreator record show enough substance to make the much talked about resurgence of German thrash more than a short-lived phenomenon. Don't get me wrong, _The Antichrist_ is not a bad record and certainly more than just a reminder of the good old days and how cool "Bestial Invasion" still sounds. But, on the other hand, this does not fare too well when it has to compete with records by younger bands playing a comparable style. Last time I mentioned Defleshed, this time it's Dew-Scented's _Inwards_, which is a perfect example that some of today's thrashers owe a lot to old Destruction but manage to single-handedly slaughter _The Antichrist_.
(article published 12/4/2002)
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